Sunday, January 10, 2016

superfood hot chocolate

A friend posted this recipe on Facebook tonight and within a few minutes, I had some brewing on the stove. I just couldn't resist.

Who could say no to a hot blend of almond milk, coconut oil, raw cacao powder, turmeric, black pepper, maple syrup, cinnamon, cayenne, and sea salt? An ecstatic match for your taste buds. Oh, yes. 

It came from this source, and though it called for maca, I didn't have any (not sure I can even get that in Japan unless I do a special order). I did, however, have all the other ingredients, and together, they were perfect with an episode of Dickensian. I still have the theme music going round in me noggin. 



bbq pulled pork + pickled radishes

A simple lunch the other day that was sweet, sour, cold, warm, and crunchy--just the right mix. I had leftover BBQ pulled pork that I had made in the slow cooker (a sauce comprised of sweet chili sauce, pepper, apple cider vinegar, a bit of brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and chili powder that came from a cookbook of my aunt's). I just reheated a bowl of it, put a spoonful at a time on a lettuce leaf, and added some homemade pickled radishes for tartness and extra texture. A lunch delight.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

deconstructed cottage pie

I used to have an Australian cookbook and there was a recipe similar to this in there. Similar, but anyway, I just went on a cooking spree and used whatever I had on hand tonight.

Rather than making a casserole and peeling potatoes to mash them, I threw the meat-veggie sauce on top of microwave-baked taters. Feel free to use your proper oven as you have time. I was in a bit of a rush. (The sauce would probably be even better if you got it going and let it simmer while you actually baked real baked potatoes.)

You'll need:
  • about 450 g (1 lb.) ground beef/pork mixture
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 head of cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 1 small bag (250 g) frozen peas
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons chunky sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • shake of cayenne pepper for warmth
Do this:

Saute your onion and garlic in olive oil till toasty and fragrant and soft, toss in the cabbage till wilted, then add the beef/pork and stir till broken up and browned. Throw in the peas, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, ketchup, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Let it bubble while you deal with your potatoes (1 per person).

When soft, split a potato on each plate, dollop a little butter and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Cover with a heaping spoonful (or several) of meat sauce.

This'll warm yer bones. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

faux-roccan chicken

Not exactly Moroccan, but as close as Ameri-Brits in Japan could get.

This was a kitchen-collaboration with my younger Bean, and we had fun putting it together. A Mamatouille-J-Bean original. Enjoy!

You'll need:
  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
  • olive oil
  • cooking alcohol such as white wine (I used sake)
  • a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 15-oz. (425-g) can chopped tomatoes
  • 2.5 teaspoons Moroccan spice (includes salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, rosemary, turmeric, cumin, and coriander)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chunky black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon powdered dried yuzu (citron) or other citrus peel
  • 2 small lemons, juiced
Do this:

Saute your onions in olive oil until brown, then add the garlic and stir for a bit. When the garlic is a bit browned, pour in about 1/4 cup of cooking alcohol and let it steam off. Throw in a little more oil and then brown the chicken in the pan with the onions and garlic. It doesn't have to cook through at this point, just enough to get a little color. Now toss in the tomatoes, parsley, Moroccan spice, salt, pepper, coriander, cinnamon, and dried citrus peel. Simmer for as long as you have time (and make sure the chicken isn't pink in the middle--this doesn't actually take long).

At the very end, just before serving, add the lemon juice and stir through before spooning it all on rice with a side of roasted broccoli. We had pineapple for dessert, and the elder Bean had his in a yellow bowl. He said the pineapple was camouflaged.

Monday, December 7, 2015

coconut-flour apricot-pear crumble

Fresh out of the oven!

We've had a long bout of bronchitis passed around among the four of us, and now that we're looking at it from a different angle (not a completely well angle, but a we-have-slightly-more-energy-angle), I actually remembered that I have a food blog. {Hello, Mamatouille! I've missed you, girlfriend.}

This is a Mamatouille original, concocted in love and in dessert-longing. 

You'll need:
  • a 15-oz. (425-g) can each of apricots and pears (or fresh, if you've got them), and save the apricot juice for later 
  • a splash of lemon juice
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I used Okinawan "black" sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Do this:

Preheat your oven to 350 F/170 C.

Chop the fruit with tender loving care, popping the occasional apricot treat into your happy gob. Chef's perks.

Grab an 8x8-inch pan, metal or glass, and place the fruit randomly and beautifully in the bottom. Sprinkle some lemon juice over all (just enough to add a bit of tang but not enough to make some kind of funky chunky lemonade).

In a big mixing bowl, beat your eggs with the vanilla extract and melted butter or coconut oil, then stir in the sifted coconut flour, oats, brown sugar, spices, and walnuts.

It will get hard to stir pretty quickly (coconut flour tends to do that), but don't worry. Blend as best you can and then dollop it on the fruit.

Bake approximately 25-30 minutes, until everything is bubbly and browning. Watch carefully to make sure it doesn't go beyond tan to blackened.

Sprinkle with a little of the reserved apricot juice if you so desire.




Wednesday, September 9, 2015

tuna curry pasta salad

What do you do with leftover cooked pasta? I had a brilliant brainzap!

Open some tuna cans and get creative...

You'll need:
  • about 4 cups cooked pasta (I used Thai rice noodles)
  • 2 cans tuna (70 g or 2.5 ounces each), drained
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1 t. curry powder
  • 1/2 t. turmeric
  • about 1/2 c. mayo, or just enough to moisten
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 1 t. freshly grated ginger
Do this:

Put it all in a large bowl and mix together. That's it.

Then fridge it till you're ready (we had it the next day for lunch with a little chopped green onion sprinkled on top, with carrots, tomatoes, cukes, and pastrami on the side).

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

dairy-free ice-cream-maker-free bananaberry ice cream

For the life of me, I can't find where I got this recipe. Forgive me if it's from your blog, but I have absolutely no clue about its origin. I wrote it down some time ago and finally got around to making it.

Why didn't I do this before?

You'll need:
  • 2 bananas, frozen and sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 2 T. almond milk
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
Do this:

Blend the berries and bananas in a food processor till slushy, then add the milk and vanilla in and swirl again till it's smooth and creamy.

Then dig in! I ate it while reading To Kill a Mockingbird

I doubled this recipe for four people, but we had leftovers and I froze a couple small portions for the Beans, which they consumed enthusiastically after a long bike ride the next afternoon.

Friday, August 14, 2015

zingy gluten- and dairy-free apricot crumble

More oven usage! Yippee! I'm so excited to have my oven up and going and working for me. It's been a long time since I had one.

This was last night's just desserts.

You'll need:
  • 1 15-oz. (425 g) can of apricots (save the juice!), or fresh if you have them
  • lemon juice, for sprinkling
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 c. almond flour
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. nutmeg
  • 3 T. Okinawan black sugar (or regular brown)
  • 4 T. melted coconut oil
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 3 T. chopped crystallized ginger
Do this:

Drain your apricots, reserving the liquid. Chop the apricots into bite-sized pieces, and lay in the bottom of a pie plate or other oven-proof dish. Sprinkle a little lemon juice over the top to add zing!

For the topping, add your oats, almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, black (or brown) sugar, salt, and crystallized ginger to a bowl, stirring till mixed. Then drizzle over the melted coconut oil and squish it in with your fingers or the mixing spoon.

Sprinkle the topping over the apricots, then bake at 180 C/350 F for about 30 minutes, till the topping is crispy and a wee bit browned and the apricots are bubbly and luscious. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

simple savoury summer "parfaits"


This is so quick, easy, and refreshing for summer. Takes about two minutes to put together, tops. An easy side to go with a main dish of hot weather. (If you eat dairy, some chopped mozzarella would be a superb addition, methinks.)

Layer sliced cucumbers, chopped tomatoes, and fresh basil in a glass, sprinkling a tiny bit of sea salt on each layer as you go. Then whisk a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil with a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sea salt, then pour over a couple of cups.

I like to stripe-ify my cukes with a veggie peeler before slicing. More fun that way!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

natural pain management (with help from my kitchen, of course)

At the suggestion of my friend Julie, I'm jotting down a few ways that we naturally manage pain round these parts. My sister and I were hit by a drunk driver in a hit-and-run car accident when I was eighteen, and I've been dealing with neck and back pain ever since. My husband Stephen also deals with pain as he sits at a desk and works on a computer for a crazy number of hours every day. Some of these suggestions came out of his research and some were recommended to us.
  • Walking. We try to do this as often as possible, and up and over mountains is even better.
  • Using our trampoline (or rebounding, as it's now called). We've got a mini one, and I do at least 500 jumps at one time, making up different crazy ways to dance, jump, and swing my arms. It really does bring me joy!
  • Pete Egoscue's book and/or CD called Pain Free. We couldn't do without our maintenance routine, and when we have specific pain (neck, back, shoulder, knee, etc.), there's a chapter for each part of the body and stretches specific to those areas.
  • Boswellia and curcumin: natural herbal anti-inflammatories that work like magic. Curcumin is also called turmeric, so make lots of curry and throw tons of that great stuff in there.
  • Gelatin: this stuff is wondrous. One of our sons has ligament laxity, and as a result of taking gelatin every day, he's now really strong and his ligament laxity seems nonexistent. No more wobbly body for him. Also, I used to wake up during the night, hardly able to move or turn over because of my lower back pain. After we started taking gelatin, I haven't had this problem at all. I heat up a half a mug of veggie/fruit juice (I actually just use water for me) and dissolve a packet with 5 grams of gelatin in each one at breakfast time, just once a day. You can put gelatin in when you're cooking your rice or a stew, or you could actually make some homemade jello with fruit juice.
  • Seven-minute workout: this workout right here. It's grand! (No gym required.)
  • Swimming and sitting in Japanese hot tubs work great, too, when you can indulge.
Don't be a pain! Be pain free, using some of these low-cost and low-maintenance solutions. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

oven's maiden voyage: roasted taters


What could be better than digging potatoes yourself and then blessing them with a roasting in your new oven?
Once we finally figured out how to get our oven off "demo" mode (it had been the floor model so it was on that special non-cooking mode--we had to call the appliance shop and they didn't know either, then had to research and call us back), we could then roast those taters

Here we are digging them up just a week ago in the mountains of Kanazawa:
Simple, really: dig and cook.

You'll need:
  • scrubbed and chopped potatoes
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
Do this:

Every oven is different, but I tossed our taters with olive oil and chunky sea salt, then roasted them at 200 C/400 F for about 30 minutes, then turned up the volume to 230 C/450 F for another 13 minutes, and finally, I turned on the grill function for an extra 5 minutes to brown them a bit.

Such fresh-tasting taters, with no mealiness or dryness. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

the creamiest goatmeal

We call it goatmeal round these parts, and here's how I make it.

You'll need:
  • 1 cup oatmeal (I think mine is the quick-cooking variety)
  • 2 cups milk (I use 1 c. soy milk and 1 c. almond milk, but you're welcome to use dairy, or even goat's milk!)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 t. nutmeg
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. vanilla extract
  • for topping: coconut oil and honey
Do this:

Cook your oatmeal according to the package directions. I throw everything except for the toppings in the pot at the beginning, because I like my cranberries plump.

After it's all creamy and hot and ready, pour a little melted coconut oil and honey on each bowlful. I served ours with boiled eggs, Japanese in-season white peaches, and some sausages.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

flippin' bacon

What flips your bacon? After using cooking chopsticks for forever, I forgot that I used to utilize tongs. How do you turn yours?

In other news, I'm SO excited to start baking again: we bought an oven! I think one of the first new recipes I'll try is this Paleo pie crust from Elana's Pantry. It just sounds so good to me right now.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

matcha butter

Oooooh, yeah: Mrs. Yasue's homegrown strawberries made into her homemade jam, and matcha butter made by moi. All slathered on rice-flour bread rolls that I can buy frozen from a local restaurant. To make matcha butter, just soften some unsalted butter and blend in some sifted matcha powder. (Idea from the cookbook New Tastes in Green Tea by Mutsuko Tokunaga.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

mitsuya-cider sweet-and-sour meatballs

What do you do when the sushi chef's wife gives you Mitsuya Cider and you don't normally drink soda? Get creative! (Mitsuya Cider is a non-alcoholic Japanese fizzy drink that tastes a bit like Sprite, but different, too.)

Well, that bottle morphed into amazing sweet-and-sour meatballs, if you can believe it.

You'll need:
  • 450 grams (about 1 pound) ground meat (I used a Japanese mixture of pork and beef)
  • 1/4 c. almond flour (or binding flour of choice)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 t. each powdered ginger, garlic powder, and onion powder
  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • 1/8 c. apple cider vinegar (I use organic with mother--very flavorful)
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • more pepper
  • 1/2 t. each ginger and onion powders
  • 1/2 c. Mitsuya Cider (or Sprite or ginger ale)
Do this:

To make the meatballs, mix the meat, almond flour, salt and pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon each powdered ginger, garlic powder, and onion powder in a bowl, then form into balls.

For the sauce, in a separate bowl stir the ketchup, vinegar, mustard, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon each powdered ginger and onion powder, and Mitsuya Cider.

Cook the meatballs in a frying pan, turning after a little while to brown on both sides. When the meatballs are cooked through, add the sauce ingredients and simmer gently till warmed through. Lovely over rice with some avocado on the side.